Article ID: CBB223422904

Peirce's ‘Schelling-Fashioned Idealism’ and ‘the Monstrous Mysticism of the East’ (2015)


Peirce remarks on several occasions in the 1790s on affinities between his evolutionary metaphysics and Schelling's Idealism, behind which, he avers, lies ‘the monstrous mysticism of the East’. What are these affinities? Why are they affinities with Schelling rather than with Hegel? And what is the mysticism in question? I argue that Schelling, like Peirce but unlike Hegel, is committed to evolution, not only across species boundaries, but also across the boundary between the inorganic and the organic. Moreover, Schelling, like Peirce but unlike Hegel, embeds this account of evolution in an account of the evolution of God through love. The monstrous mysticism of the East, I argue, is Lurianic kabbalah, to which Schelling is demonstrably indebted, and which is committed to an evolutionary theism on which is based, if not an account of natural evolution, an account of reincarnation as a mechanism by which life-forms progress from inorganic to organic bodies as they develop their consciousness. Publicized by Christian kabbalists such as Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont, incarnationism prepared the way for evolutionism. Peirce's remarks show his awareness, not only of his debt to Schelling's Idealism, but also of Idealism's debt to kabbalah.

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Article Robert Stern (2015) Introduction. British Journal for the History of Philosophy (pp. 601-610). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Liedman, Sven-Eric
Düsing, Klaus
Beierwaltes, Werner
Wolfe, Charles T.
Dudley, Will
Bougas, T.
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Neusis: The Greek Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Revue de Synthèse
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
College Publications
Königshausen & Neumann
University of Texas at Austin
Franz Steiner Verlag
Idealism (philosophy)
Philosophy of science
Pragmatism; instrumentalism
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Kant, Immanuel
Wolff, Christian von
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
17th century
20th century
20th century, early

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